State Representative Andy Thompson (R-Marietta) today called upon the University of Cincinnati (UC), Department of Geology to release their full findings surrounding the multi-year Groundwater Research of Ohio (GRO) study.



The study focused on the potential effects of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on groundwater in the Utica Shale of Ohio, and included five counties: Stark, Columbiana, Carroll, Harrison, and Belmont. The latter three counties are part of Thompson’s House District. The study received state funding, in the form of a grant from the Ohio Board of Regents, in the amount of $85,714.00.  The study also received federal funding from the national Science Foundation (EAR-1229114) for an isotope ratio mass spectrometer.



The issue came to light recently, when the lead researcher for the project announced the results of the study at a public forum hosted by the Carroll County Concerned Citizens group. 



At that meeting, lead UC researcher, Dr. Amy Townsend-Small stated, “We haven’t seen anything to show that wells have been contaminated by fracking.”  This study comes on the heels of a five year review from the U.S. EPA and the Hydraulic Fracturing Panel of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Science Advisory Board (SAB) which found “no ‘widespread, systemic’ impacts to drinking water from hydraulic fracturing”.



The UC study is the first study conducted in Ohio which included baseline sampling and continued sampling throughout the course of several years.



Representative Thompson is perplexed at why the full study has not been released, regardless of its conclusions. He released the following statement on the issue:



“It is unacceptable that taxpayers have funded this important groundwater study and the findings are now being kept from the public. UC has still not produced a full report of their findings, nor has the university issued a press release of their results. Yet, during the course of the past few years, the university has released countless advisories on the multi-year Groundwater Research of Ohio study. I am calling on the University of Cincinnati, Department of Geology to release their full findings surrounding this study immediately. The people of Ohio have funded and deserve to know that private water wells in shale counties have not been impacted.”

 
 
 
  
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